I Hear You Knocking

The international community and their non-governmental bodies are incessantly fond of targeting Israel for her actions within her own borders. Their constant forcing of recriminations upon us and their criticisms about how Israel is, or rather, should be governed long ago passed the realm of paternalism and have now reached levels of absurdity. Why does this no longer surprise us? Oftentimes, we have to endure and deflect such criticisms and defend our actions concerning how we deal with terror in our own democratically-elected country which is rather absurd on its face.

There appears to be no rational reason for the constant and continued Israel-bashing except it is considered de rigeur in a body made up of over 50 Muslim nations who hate Jews and Zionists and the State of Israel for even existing. We get that. But here’s the rub: the United Nations oversteps its own guidelines and mandates on a daily basis by ignoring other countries for their actions both inside and outside their own borders. And then they have the temerity to use wars in Israel against large terror groups as some kind of cudgel to beat us up with afterwards. Whether the UN does it out of economic concerns, i.e., oil, as is the situation by ignoring the profoundly serious human rights violations carried out by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or the Republic of Iran, or whether it is done by the Lebanese for allowing Hezbollah to run its country’s military in contravention of all known international law, the result is always the same: ignore these events completely and then for good measure, blame Israel. When our elected officials take actions which we have already debated internally both in the legal community and by our own very enlightened Supreme Court, there is blowback and all of it is negative. And now we have to hear from Human Rights Watch that we are engaging in “war crimes.”

I have lived here during one “intifada” and three declared wars, so I am rather sure I know a war when I see (and hear) one, and I was frankly not aware that we are currently at war with anyone. We have a disquieting amount of peace with our violent neighbors at present and that is basically it for now. However, like any good non-governmental agency going for the melodramatic in attempting to raise funds while ignoring the facts, HRW is really good at what it does, especially as they overstep their mandate in the process. Indeed, Robert Bernstein, the Jewish founding member of HRW has vociferously opposed its actions regarding Israel and has taken to criticising it often, even going so far as to create a new NGO to countermand the damage created by his creation. Furthermore, HRW has many chapters and they insinuate themselves into college and university campuses around the U.S. This fact alone should give rational people pause. If you really want to know why there is increased anti-Semitism and attacks on Jewish students on many of those campuses, the NGOs stand out as some of the primary instigators of those attacks.

Turning a blind eye to egregious crimes committed by Palestinians—both Hamas and Fatah, on an almost daily basis is an acceptable course of action for Human Rights Watch; but the second Israel takes action, whether retaliatory or deterrent in nature, it is not acceptable and they feel compelled to comment upon it and then pass judgment, hence, the “war crimes” matter. Even the blatant things that Hamas does to its own citizens receive only lip service by HRW.

Firstly, I do not believe we are “retaliating” in the least when we destroy a known terrorist’s dwelling. Whereas some perceive that as the case, that is not an accurate depiction. When we knock down a terrorist’s home, what we are actually saying is: “you do not deserve to live among civilized people.” It is more humane than arresting and trying their entire families. And it is rather apparent that the families support their offspring in terror activities are “proud” of them. So in point of fact, they do not really need walls and a roof and running water and electricity supplied by their enemy since they are already living in the comfortable location known as “denial.” Secondly, these radicalizations do not take place in a vacuum. The fact that many of these terrorists are relatives indicates that their actions are well-known to family members. Besides, they always make videos for their families saying goodbye. It is really hard not to know what is going on under one’s own roof unless one is profoundly “deaf, dumb, crippled and blind.”

If Human Rights Watch thinks we are destroying someone’s place of residence as “collective punishment” then they miss the point entirely and know nothing about Islamic radicalization or ways to prevent it. They also do not know what that expression means. We are not levelling entire towns for the sins of one individual, after all.  And if the actions by our government cause so much as one would-be terrorist from killing and maiming even one innocent citizen, the knocking down of an apartment is the very least we can do to help them see the light.

About the Author
Rachel Grenadier was an olah from the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2003 who returned to the United States in 2015. She really wanted to stay in Israel, but decided that having family members nearby was better for her health than a bunch of devoted, but crazed, Israeli friends who kept telling her hummous would cure her terminal heart condition. She has her B.A. and M.A. from George Mason University in Virginia and is the author of two books: the autobiographical "Israeli Men and Other Disasters" and "Kishon: The Story of Israel's Naval Commandoes and their Fight for Justice". She is now living in Virginia with her three Israeli psychologically-challenged cats and yet, denies being a "hoarder".
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